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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(12), 4292-4310; doi:10.3390/ijerph9124292
Article

Focused Study on the Quiet Side Effect in Dwellings Highly Exposed to Road Traffic Noise

*  and
Acoustics Research Group, Department of Information Technology (INTEC), Ghent University, Sint-Pietersnieuwstraat 41, Gent B-9000, Belgium
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 16 October 2012 / Revised: 19 November 2012 / Accepted: 19 November 2012 / Published: 22 November 2012
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Abstract

This study provides additional evidence for the positive effect of the presence of a quiet façade at a dwelling and aims at unraveling potential mechanisms. Locations with dominant road traffic noise and high Lden-levels at the most exposed façade were selected. Dwellings both with and without a quiet façade were deliberately sought out. Face-to-face questionnaires (N = 100) were taken to study the influence of the presence of a quiet side in relation to noise annoyance and sleep disturbance. As a direct effect, the absence of a quiet façade in the dwelling (approached as a front-back façade noise level difference smaller than 10 dBA) leads to an important increase of at least moderately annoyed people (odds-ratio adjusted for noise sensitivity equals 3.3). In an indirect way, a bedroom located at the quiet side leads to an even stronger reduction of the self-reported noise annoyance (odds-ratio equal to 10.6 when adjusted for noise sensitivity and front façade Lden). The quiet side effect seems to be especially applicable for noise sensitive persons. A bedroom located at the quiet side also reduces noise-induced sleep disturbances. On a loud side, bedroom windows are more often closed, however, conflicting with the preference of dwellers.
Keywords: road traffic noise; noise annoyance; quiet side; noise-induced sleep disturbance; noise sensitivity road traffic noise; noise annoyance; quiet side; noise-induced sleep disturbance; noise sensitivity
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).
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Van Renterghem, T.; Botteldooren, D. Focused Study on the Quiet Side Effect in Dwellings Highly Exposed to Road Traffic Noise. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9, 4292-4310.

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